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The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

Consequences of divorced parents affect students well-being and academic performance

Divorces+can+quickly+impose+detrimental+effects+on+the+livelihood+of+students+by+creating+evident+barriers+in+healthy+family+dynamics.+Photo+credit+to+Robert+Hobkirk%2C+Creative+Commons.
Divorces can quickly impose detrimental effects on the livelihood of students by creating evident barriers in healthy family dynamics. Photo credit to Robert Hobkirk, Creative Commons.

Many factors in life can play a role in academic and physical struggle, and these factors are often uncontrollable. High school is a difficult period for teenage students, and the effects of a divorce on a household can be detrimental to the affected students.

Divorced parents can introduce challenges to a student’s academic performance while adding emotional stress. This disruption, both academically and emotionally, causes a greater chance of developing ADD or hyperactivity disorders than nuclear families. 

Household dynamics are influential in the everyday life of a teenager. From giving and receiving support to ensuring financial stability, healthy family dynamics factor into academic success. Forming healthy bonds relieves stress on students, and they can provide emotional or physical support.

Although the divorce rate in the U.S. has been gradually decreasing since 2008, there was a slight increase in the last year. In 2022, there were 14.56 divorces per 1,000 married women. For some, this instability has been found to decrease performance in school and increase behavioral problems. Studies have shown that children of divorced parents are 26% likely to drop out of secondary school. 

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In many unexpected cases, this event dramatically alters the routine of the children. Skylar Tewkesbury travels back and forth from her mom’s house to her dad’s frequently throughout the week. “My parents live more than 15 minutes away from each other and it’s hard spending time with each of them,” she explained.

Balancing time is an apparent struggle when dealing with divorced parents. It is hard for kids to know how to manage their priorities and time efficiently. Packing up their bags every weekend or deciding who to spend time with are just a few of the countless stressors these children face. 

Tewksbury continued, “Divorced parents affect everyone differently, but I think most kids suffer a lot emotionally. It’s a difficult thing to grasp, especially at a young age; it can be hard to focus on school or other activities at this time.”

Traveling back and forth from two houses frequently can affect the study habits of affected students. They may feel unmotivated or tired at times, or they struggle to find time during the day to complete their work due to repeatedly traveling. The result of frequent traveling can lead to a decline in hours of sleep, confusion, less motivation and a decrease in focus. These consequences can be detrimental to one’s mental health, further diminishing the quality of academic performance. 

A student with divorced parents, who wishes to remain anonymous under the pseudonym Jake, has dealt with these effects. “It really takes a toll on you when you’re unable to see both of your parents all the time, living under the same roof as an ‘ideal’ family. I experienced a period, right after my parents got divorced, where I had no motivation to finish any work because all I could think about was how I would be living my life in two homes,” Jake expressed.

When understanding the unfortunate consequences of divorce, it is important to realize how each factor contributes to the decline of academic performance for the affected student. Teenagers are at a vulnerable stage in which attempting to balance the struggles of a divorce can negatively influence numerous aspects of their lives.

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About the Contributor
Armaan Bhagwat, Photo Manager
Armaan Bhagwat is a senior at Pleasant Valley high school and is the Spartan Shield’s Photo Manager. He’s interested in biomedical sciences and anatomy, and he wants to major in biomedical engineering/sciences with an aspiration of becoming an ophthalmologist. At PV, Armaan is a captain of the varsity tennis team, leader of the Future Physicians of America club, and a member of the Wind Symphony band. Outside of school, Armaan finds enjoyment in playing tennis, golfing with friends, and playing piano. Armaan’s favorite movie is The Dark Knight, and his favorite musical artist is Drake. He is excited to work for the Spartan Shield this year!  
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    Avery CarterFeb 1, 2024 at 1:32 pm

    As a student who has divorced parents I think this story was important because it shows the factors that kids struggle with when going through this time. It causes a lot of stress and going back and fourth is tiring. I really thought this article was good to point that stuff out.

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